Editor’s Note: CT readers really reacted to this story when it originally ran.
Throughout his term in office, particularly during his final two years, the Islamic Republic of Iran took full advantage of former President Barack Obama’s obvious deference to them in and around the Middle East.
The Iranian fast patrol boats that would routinely harass U.S. Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf and the strategic and narrow Strait of Hormuz, are just one example.
But according to The Wall Street Journal, those harassing activities essentially came to a halt in August of 2017, a move that leftist analysts and experts “baffled.”
Those small Iranian patrol boats, typically armed with mounted .50-caliber machine guns and/or multiple launch rocket systems, would rapidly approach U.S. vessels in international waters and close in within shooting distance prior to pulling back once radio calls, flares or warning shots were fired by the harassed ship.
“I hope it’s because we have messaged our readiness,” Army General Joseph Votel told reporters of the cessation of hostile approaches. “It isn’t tolerable or how professional militaries operate.”
The Free Beacon reported that there were approximately 36 such “unsafe” harassing incidents in 2016 and 14 of them occurred in 2017 prior to suddenly stopping in August, a rate of about two incidents per month.
Our readers no doubt recall the most infamous of those incidents which occurred in January of 2016, the day of Obama’s final State of the Union address, in which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps took captive the crews of two U.S. riverine patrol boats and held them for a day, only to release them after Obama’s speech and after they had gleaned as much intelligence as they could from the captured crew and equipment.
But then President Donald Trump took office in January of 2017, and according to Reuters, sent out a not too subtle warning to Iran via Twitter in early February. Trump tweeted that “Iran is playing with fire” and “they don’t appreciate how kind President Obama was to them. Not me!”
Business Insider reported that there were a few more “unsafe” incidents involving swarming Iranian patrol boats through the first part of 2017. Those incidents stopped in August, and there were also other signs that Iran was quietly backing down in the face of Trump’s tough rhetoric and unmistakable commitment to bolstering the pride and strength of the U.S. military.
Indeed, in a change of pace from previous years, Iran test-fired only one medium-range ballistic missile after Trump took office, and appears to have refrained from making any “technical infringements” of the vaunted nuclear deal that Trump has repeatedly threatened to do away with.
Not to mention the much more restrained manner in which the regime dealt with the recent Iranian mass protests as compared to the protests in 2009 which were brutally and murderously put down.
While the media and various analysts and experts wonder aloud why Iran has stopped being as provocative as they were before, Front Page Mag had no problem proclaiming the welcome change as being the result of the “Trump effect.”
Far from how Obama seemingly caved to the Iranians to appease them on a host of issues in a bid to curry favor, Trump has remained steadfast in viewing Iran as an adversary.
His unequivocal support for the military has strengthened the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet stationed in the Gulf, and essentially removed them as a viable target for Iranian harassment going forward, as they fear he might actually retaliate against their provocative actions, a fear they likely never felt under his predecessor.
The mullahs that rule Iran appear to have come to understand that the game changed in 2017 and the new sheriff in town has implemented new rules that aren’t anywhere near as favorable to them as before. The sooner everyone else realizes that too, the better off the world will be.
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